This is an excellent question, but the answer may not be what you think.
We’ve been told that forgiveness is giving up the right to revenge; that it’s the right thing to do, and if we don’t forgive, that we won’t be forgiven. Visions of hell taunt us if we fail to forgive our abusers as Jesus forgave us. But is forgiveness really supposed to be such a commandment-driven obligation?
Then there’s this other very important piece to forgiveness that we rarely talk about. It’s letting go of the wishthat things had been different.
Let’s be real, bad shit happens and it happens to a lot of people a lot of the time. It’s normal for a person to feel angry and resentful about childhood abuse and depending on the severity of the wounds, it could take years to process. But there is a point when our inner being tells us it’s safe to release our grip on the past, because it’s not serving us well anymore. If we hold on to the past, no amount of prayer, counseling, or talking will move us to a place of forgiveness.
You know you’ve held on to the past too long when you’re talking about it for the 596thtime, and you think, Yes, I wish things had been different, butwhen will I get over this? I want to be free from it all! Now where’s that bottle of whiskey?
Truth is, the past let go of you a long time ago, but you’re hanging on to its shirtsleeve like it’s your mama. It’s not your mama, it’s not your daddy, it’s not your friend. It’s nothing. It’s over and it’s time to be free from it, it’s time to let go of the wish that it was different, because that unfulfilled wish is holding you back from growing.
When we hold on to a wish unfulfilled, we can’t fully experience the love that is in us and available for us. It pulls us down into our nightmare of wishing things were different, replaying things that won’t change, manifesting negativity, numbing our pain through substances, slowly killing our bodies, and missing out on the people standing right in front of us who love us.
No one can tell you when it’s the right time to forgive someone. That’s a personal journey and it’s a part of growth that’s hard for sure, growth always is, but it will feel like bliss when you can finally release your grasp. Forgiveness is letting go, and it feels an awful lot like love and peace.
So, how do you let go?
- Meditate daily, at least once. Through daily meditation, regularly connecting with God, Source, Love. We have been made in Her image, and God is Love and we are intimately connected with that Source of Life and Love. Meditate, meditate, meditate, my friends. It’s been life changing for me! I’m not an expert in the field, but I can tell you, it’s changing my life and perspective on what is true and real.
2. You are not your thoughts. Practice observing your thoughts. Simply notice them, don’t react, then let them float away. Observing your thoughts helps you realize that your power is YOU, not your thoughts, and that YOU, your inner being, can define who you are, and you are an amazing loving person. This helps neutralize negative emotional responses and sets you free to redefine who you want to be. Aaron Doughty explains it well, so check out his videos on YouTube if you get a chance.
Jesus said that the first and second greatest commandments are that we love God and others; he didn’t mention forgiveness. Why is that? It’s because forgiveness is automatically satisfied when we are tapped in to and in alignment with the one Source of Love/God, and living at the vibration of love and above.